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We want our children to do better, to go further, and achieve more than we do. We want them to believe in themselves and that they are worthy of the things they want in life. The good news is that children can practice and improve their self-confidence and self-esteem with your help and guidance. Self-confidence is often confused with self-esteem. They are similar in the sense that they both have to do with the feelings one has about oneself.

Self-esteem is a measure of how you feel about yourself in general. Self-confidence comes from feeling confident in your abilities, feeling that you are capable. Self-esteem and self-confidence are not about thinking that one is better than others, but it describes a sense of security in who one is, self-worth, and that one can handle anxious or challenging thoughts as they arise.

Children with self-confidence:
They feel safe (rather than unsafe).
They know that they have the ability to face challenges.
They feel prepared to handle things like tests, presentations, and competitions.
They focus on what they can do and not what they can’t do.

Don’t try to protect your child from anxiety. If your child expresses anxiety or fear about certain activities, she doesn’t avoid those feelings. Respect that her feelings are real and tell her that he can deal with this fear with you there by her side to help her. Help him build his self-esteem by saying, “I know this is difficult, but I also know that you can handle this situation and whatever happens.”

Confident children are willing to try new things, are more open to new experiences and people, and keep trying when faced with obstacles. Building self-confidence is important because it helps children reach their potential.

As a parent, you can give your child the support, love, and guidance she needs to grow into a self-confident adult. In fact, from the beginning, you are helping your child build self-confidence when she holds him if he cries and compliments him when he takes her first steps.